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Industry Throws Its Resources Behind Compulsory Airbag Recall

The motor industry’s peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), said the industry would move “heaven and earth” to satisfy the requirements of the compulsory Takata airbag recall announced today by the Federal Government.

“The safety of our customers is our utmost priority,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“That’s why the industry will do its utmost to comply with the conditions set down in the legislation.

“We already know from the voluntary recall which has been underway for some years that there are a number of significant issues in getting the affected vehicles rectified. These include difficulties contacting the affected customers, constraints imposed by replacement airbag supply and the ability of the networks to process such a huge number of vehicles.”

“However, we know our brands are determined to do their part and have in place strategies to prioritise vehicles and have this recall addressed by 31 December 2020, as determined by the Minister.”

Around 4 million vehicles have been identified as affected by the recall. However, some 1.7 million have already been rectified by the industry under the previous voluntary agreement conducted over a number of years and in full consultation with the Federal government and the ACCC.

A further 859,000 cars were added under the compulsory recall announced today.

Mr Weber added that state and territory registration authorities have a significant role to play in ensuring the brands can reach affected customers. Repeated requests from the FCAI to the ACCC to assist in this process have so far been unsuccessful.

“We urge state and territory governments to put the safety of the motoring public first by working with the Australian motor industry in reaching out to affected owners,” Mr Weber said.

“Our brands have numerous cases where they have made phone calls and sent multiple letters to affected vehicle owners but either the contact details are out of date, or the owners don’t want to be involved.

“Given the significance of this recall and the safety concerns for our customers, we believe there should be a maximum effort across state and federal Governments to work with the industry in sharing information to reach as many affected customers as possible.

“We are calling on the state and territory governments to work with us on this issue, as we know that will deliver the safest outcome. Surely that is what we all want.”